Known as: Alligator Pear, Balsam Pear, Bitter Gourd, Bitter
Latin Name: Cucurbitaceae Momordica charantia L.
Description: An annual running vine that produces a cucumber-like
fruit that is pale white to orange-yellow with pronounced bumps or flat,
blunt warts. The slender, smooth vine is 10 feet long or more, with near
round, lobed leaves. The orange-yellow fruit is 4 to 8 inches long, oblong,
pointed and furrowed lengthwise. When fully ripe it splits into 3 divisions
revealing a scarlet aril surrounding numerous seeds. When in flower, it
has solitary yellow flowers about 1.5 inches long in the leaf axil.
Leaves alternate on the vine and and may be foul-smelling.
Poisonous Part: Outer rind of fruit, seeds, ripe fruit.
Symptoms: May produce vomiting, abdominal pain, and in some
Treatment: Contact your veterinarian.